Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How Is This Possible??

Here it is - the eve of Christmas Eve. The baking, the whining, the crying - and that was all from me. I've heard the plotting and the planning of Nerf palooza of '09 until I thought I would hose myself down with a fully loaded Nerf blaster just to put an end to it.

Is it just me or has Christmas sort of just snuck up? I feel like I've been so busy trying to make good memories for the guys that here it is and I feel like I'm not ready. We bought what we could, we're doing what we can. And yet when I look at people that are moving at a fast pace to get everything done - it just seems the whole meaning has truly slipped away.

I read a pretty good book - long story long there was a battle and the color of one's sword was based on the intent. The motive behind the blow was what determined who's side the person was fighting on. Thought that was interesting. I also thought it was interesting that there is still a battle to be fought and to be won.

Jesus fought and won His battle. And it all started with a tiny little seed of a baby. While this is supposed to be a time of peace on earth, I can't help but feel the battle really is gearing up. Not something I really want to hear while I'm in so many battles. Last couple of days I felt such encouragement to keep pressing on.

I got to hang out with some people I don't get to see on a regular basis. Listening to the different stories of struggles, of battles won and battles lost, but still that determination to keep pressing on. I was nodding my head as I've been in some of those battles and got it but shook my head in wonder at ones I have not. But it was nice to be around people who got it - who knew exactly where I was coming from. It was like a nice long drink of water. Sad to say, that a lot of people believe that as long as you do everything right, you will have a nice little life.

Too bad life doesn't work that way.

All of our talk reminded me of this email and it gave me a good sniff. I know very well about heartache. I want to believe that there are still good, honest people that are out there. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas - time with family and friends and that you are able to zero in on the reason for the season, the One that gives us hope.

**True Story of Rudolph**
A man named Bob May, depressed and broken hearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob's wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.

Little Barbara couldn't understand why her Mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?"
Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger.

It had been the story of Bob's life.

Life always had to be different for Bob. Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl.

But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift.

But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined to make one - a storybook! Bob had created a character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling.

Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.

Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there. The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph.

That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.

But the story doesn't end there either. Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas."

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad.

In fact, being different can be a blessing.


Julie said...

Rudolf was always my favorite when I was growing up... The book, the song, and the movie... It's nice to hear the story behind it!


grandmamargie said...

Thanks for the story behind Rudolf. I didn't know it. Have a very, Merry Christmas.

Kristen said...

I had never heard that story but what a great one it is! Not only about Bob May and the comfort he gave to his daughter but about the company as well. Such is the true meaning of Christmas. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Kaye Butler said...

Merry Christmas girlie!

Love ya


Kerri said...

Sniff, snort....
That is AWESOME. Never heard that before!
Hopeyou had a fantastic CHRISTmas!
Love you

Young Wife said...

That is a great story! Thanks for sharing. What was the name of the book you read?

jubilee said...

So glad you shared that with us. Thanks.